Skittles have replaced corporate content on their homepage with almost 100% consumer-generated material, from popular sources such as YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. After users sign up to the Terms Of Service on the homepage (stating the content isn’t Skittles-produced), they can read a live thread of Twitter ‘tweets’ mentioning Skittles, view Skittles videos and pictures from YouTube and Flickr, or click into the ‘Friends’ section which takes them into the Skittles Facebook fan page.
The change has been received with mixed reviews from the marketing and IT community. Some are branding it a masterstroke, with the brand currently registering 584,000+ Facebook fans, the term ‘Skittles’ ranking #1 on the Twitter Trend ‘Twist’ (most frequently mentioned terms) and a massive spike of news stories in the last 24 hours. Others have been more critical, with many users now posting controversial and uncensored messages on the Twitter feed, knowing they will be published. Web designers also mention that their site architecture and SEO is also destroyed (probably of little consequence, considering their current media exposure and fairly minimal level of previous traffic).
Either way, if the ‘any PR is good PR’ maxim still holds any weight, then it’s top marks for Skittles and their brave web strategy.